I think of my mother as the white Rosa Parks. In the mid 1950's, when as a child we lived in Alabama, my mother used to deliberately drink out of "colored" fountains, and used to sit at public gatherings when everyone else stood for "Dixie", rather than the "Star Spangled Banner". My mother used to regularly sit at the back of the bus until the driver would inform her that the bus wouldn't proceed until she moved forward. She would eventually move at the urging of other blacks on the bus who knew that the result of her actions would only cause problems for them.
My father was a legitimate war hero, having been an Air Force pilot who flew in 3 wars, was shot down twice and was a POW in North Korea. From the stories my father told me, his treatment and accommodations in North Korea were luxurious compared to what John McCain encountered. My father lived in a 2' x 4' hole in the ground, covered by a bamboo cage for a year and a half. One of the few details that my father provided, since he hates to talk about it, was that other prisoners attempted to escape occasionally, not because they had a hope of getting out, but because being killed by machine fire was preferable to being stuck in a hole for years.
I mention this as a backdrop against what they believe today. My mother, who never in her life voted for a Democrat, and even carried a small photo of Richard Nixon in her wallet for 25 years (although she didn't carry one of her children), told me that Barack Obama was the most inspiring politician she had ever heard, and that she cried when he spoke. My father, who hasn't expressed a preference for Obama or McCain, to put it delicately, after a few "colorful" words, asks that the TV be turned off whenever President Bush is speaking.
These people are my heritage, literally the material of my genes, and are my heroes.
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